FACT FILE — Portugal GAL:

PORTUGAL — VACACATION VILLAS IN THE ALGARVE & THE WEST COAST OF PORTUGAL

PORTUGAL has been a very popular destination for many years. It lies between Spain and the Atlantic coast in the south western corner of the Iberian pensinsula. Mountains and river pierced valleys to the north and seemingly unending plains in the central and eastern regions. Then there is the rugged Atlantic coastline.

Portugal was the host country of Euro 2004 football.

See also Driving in Portugal at insurance4carrental.com

The capital is Lisbon (Lisboa) located on the west coast on the River Tagus. It is approximately 300km from the Algarve in the south and 400km from the Spanish border in the north.The population in Lisbon is about 536,000 and the population of greater Lisbon is 1,836,000 and that of of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley is 3,327,000 is about of Lisbon's total poulation.

SEE ALSO:It Certainly Does Rain in Lisbon (Lisboa) Portugal in February CLICK HERE

The Algarve is a very popular area as it has year round warmth, fine sandy beaches and plenty of golf and tennis facilities. The main airport in this area is Faro. This section of the coast is well served by villa and apartment developments. It stretches from east of Faro to Sagres in the west taking in such resorts as Luz, Albufeira and Vale do Lobo. (see section below)

The west coast area (where Lisbon the capital is located) is now becoming more popular. These include Estoril and Cascais. The country enjoys a reputation of providing a holiday climate all year round. The scenery is beautiful and varies a great deal from area to area. The country now has a very good network of roads. The main towns and cities also include Oporto and Lagos.

Renting a villa in the Algarve is an ideal way to explore the Northern ranges and the long sandy beaches of the Southern Algarve coastline.

Places of Interest

Faro: The capital of the district, with a medieval wall and a large number of monuments: Cathedral (Romanesque-Gothic origin), Nossa Senhora da Assunção Convent (Renaissance), São Francisco Church (16th-18th centuries). Museums to visit: Infante Dom Henrique, Regional Ethnographic, Ramalho Ortigão and Antoniano (next to Santo António do Alto Chapel). Also worthwhile visiting are the beautiful churches of São Pedro da Misericórdia and Nossa Senhora do Carmo. Roman ruins of Milreu in the suburbs.

Lagos: Enclosed within 15th century walls, with its Manueline window, are the magnificent churches of São Sebastião (Renaissance portals and 17th and 18th century tiles), Santa Maria or Misericórdia (16th-19th centuries), Santo António (Baroque) and the very old São João Chapel (8th-9th centuries). Other points of interest: Regional Museum, Governors’ Palace, Pau da Bandeira Fortress and the old slave market. Charming marina.

Monchique: Amongst the beautiful houses on the slope stand the mother-church (Manueline), the Misericórdia Church (with a Baroque retable) and the Senhor do Pé da Cruz Chapel (17th century). Nearby, look for the famous thermal spa of Monchique and Fóia for (902 m high), overlooking the hills and the ocean.

Olhão: The square-shaped flat-roofed houses, with their Moorish-style terraces, are this fishing town’s ex-libris. Behind the mother-church (17th century) you will find the Nossa Senhora dos Aflitos Chapel.

Portimão: In this fishermen’s town, visit the mother-church (14th century, rebuilt in the 18th century), the Colégio Church (17th century), and the Town Hall. In the suburbs, the renowned Praia da Rocha (with its Santa Catarina de Ribamar Fortress), and the Roman ruins of Abicada.

Sagres: It was here that five centuries ago Prince Henry set up a school of navigation, which played a crucial role in the Portuguese Discoveries. Apart from the Nossa Senhora da Graça Chapel, you can visit the magnificent fortress (originally built in the 14th century, and later altered) and the 15th century rosa-dos-ventos (a 43 m-diameter compass card). Nearby, on the extreme southwestern tip of the European continent, is Cabo de São Vicente (Romans’ Promontorium Sacrum), opening on to a vast horizon of sea and sky.

Silves: Stones of different times and cultures overlap in this town: the castle and walls are of Arab origin; the Gothic Cathedral (having undergone several restoration works) was built on the site of an ancient mosque; the 12th century bridge was built where formerly stood a Roman bridge. The Cross of Portugal also deserves special mention (16th century religious sculpture), as well as the following examples of Manueline motifs: the Nossa Senhora dos Mártires Chapel and the Misericórdia Church. The Archeology Museum is built around an almost unique Arab water cistern, dating from the Almohad period.

Tavira: With its inviting long beaches, typical roofs and chimneys, this picturesque town offers a beautiful view over the Gilão river and its Roman bridge. Churches to visit: Santa Maria do Castelo (13th-18th centuries), Misericórdia (Renaissance), Nossa Senhora das Ondas (17th century), São José (with Gothic and Manueline elements), São Paulo and Carmo (17th-18th-centuries). If you are browsing along the Travessa de Dona Brites, you will see beautiful medieval houses, with Gothic windows and portals. In the suburbs, in the village of Luz there is a Renaissance church, which has been a pilgrimage place for many centuries.

Algarve Holiday Destinations Porches and Armação de PêraCLICK HERE

Currency: — Euro (€)

Population 2006: 10,566,212

Land Area: 92,391 Km2

Electricity Voltage: 230Volts European round 2 prong plug

Telephone Country Code: +351 (Including Azores & Madeira)

Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card.

Vehicles drive on the RIGHT

FURTHER READING See also

Photos of Lisbon — Fact File CLICK HERE

Tips and Topics in Portugal CLICK HERE

Buy to Let Europe CLICK HERE

Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) CLICK HERE

Accepting Payments in Euros can prove Expensive CLICK HERE

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Enjoy your visit to Portugal


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